the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Name:
Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Monday, September 03, 2007

When It Rains, It Pours

As my regular readers know, I've been slowly recovering from heat exhaustion. The other week, we went to see a relative (by marriage, but I consider him a relative) and friend. He has been ill for some time, we hadn't seen him in a while, so we wanted to go. We all enjoyed the visit, although it was obvious he wished it could last longer.

So, last Wednesday, we drove up again to see him, and try to cheer him up. I was worried, as he really didn't seem to be doing well. (He had diabetes, and had developed breathing problems after beginning to take one of the medications his doctors put him on.) Still, we enjoyed the visit, and planned to come back soon and often. On Saturday evening my wife called him as she did every night to check on him, and got no answer.

This would happen sometimes, if he was asleep and didn't hear the phone, or if he was out. So she called several times, still getting no answer. We were very worried, and she left a message telling him if she didn't hear from him by the next morning we were coming up to see how he was. Well, when we heard nothing by Sunday morning, we drove up there. He'd given my wife keys in case of emergency some time ago.

We drove up, and his car was there, but he wasn't outside where he liked to sit. We went to his door and knocked and called out but got no answer. So we went in and found him lying on his kitchen floor. We called 911 at once, and the paramedics got there fairly quickly. I was outside to show them which apartment he was in, and I led them in, they came in, took one look at him, and said "He's dead." without even tryint to revive him. He'd just recently turned 66.

When the police came, and the medical examiner determined his medical condition from his doctors, he ruled that no autopsy was necessary, but the police are fairly sure he died instantly, sometime on Saturday. The world is much poorer because he is no longer a part of it, but I can't write about him right now. I'm still too upset, and trying to get used to the idea. He was the closest friend I had. I thought he might wind up in the hospital a while, but I never expected this.

What makes it all so much worse is that he had two cats. They were inside with him when it happened; they are indoor cats. They had enough time to figure out what had happened, and are traumatized. They aren't even eating much, and they are, even for cats, huge eaters. They are grieving as well for the person they loved. We'd promised him we'd see that they were taken care of if anything happened to him.

Now, I wish with all my heart, for a number of reasons, including the fact that I love those cats, and the fact that just because they were Jim's I can't bear never to see them again, that I could take them myself, but I have three cats (two of my own, and one who is my son's). They are also indoor cats; in the part of New England where I live, you keep your cats indoors (or take them out only on a leash) or see them dead in a very short time.

My cats are all young, and are fairly well adjusted, but the space we have is just about enough for them. Two are neutered toms, and each one thinks he is the boss, although their squabbles don't get out of hand. Jim's cats are both old, former strays, and one is a former street fighter, now neutered, but still with the instincts to pick a fight with any rivals. So there is no chance I can take them.

So, I called a no-kill shelter, hoping if they couldn't take them in themselves they might at least be able to offer advice. They were sympathetic, but what they told me was that at their ages, 17 and 10, and as former strays who are problematic or needy, no shelter would consider taking them in, and I'd have a hard time finding anyone else who would, either.

They were kind enough to suggest something that was too late in this case, but that I'm glad to know about: many shelters are beginning to offer programs where you donate a certain amount of money and they guarantee to take your cats if anything happens to you. However, in this case, too late. The cats are living, right now, in the empty apartment, which is about two hours, one way, from us. Morning and evening, they have to be fed...

They are loving and affectionate cats who right now desperately need reassurance and affection. I promised my friend I'd see they were taken care of. I cannot just have them killed because there is no place in the world for them. I thought, once before in my life, that I knew what it was like to be "between a rock and a hard place". I was literally physically sick from the strain. And yet, I wasn't trapped as badly as I thought; I had no idea. This is what it means to be caught between a rock and a hard place.

I can't even think straight tonight, between my grief and my worry over the cats. I'd planned to post over the weekend, but of course that didn't happen. Until I can find an answer for those poor grieving cats (perhaps my greatest weakness is this: I can't stand seeing animals grieve; if I'd seen a pet of Hitler's grieving for him, I'd even have shed a few tears) I'm going to be too busy to blog. When I have an answer, I'm going to have to catch up on work...

There is only one exception: please come back in the next few days, because I will be making the time for one very important post - an update on Red's Book.

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diigo it

23 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

My heart breaks for you and your wife. It's so hard to lose someone you love dearly — but to lose him in an instant, without warning, must be so much harder.

I have friends in Connecticut and Rhode Island; is that close enough to you to send out a cat-rescue blast?

September 05, 2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger RomanceWriter said...

My heart is aching for you and your family right now. I'm so sorry for your loss and that your friend is gone. You will be in my prayers.

Love,

Sara

September 05, 2007 12:38 PM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Thanks to everyone for your condolences. Yes, it's hard. But we did visit just a few days before; never put off visiting those you care about. You never know which time may be the last one.

Beth; thank you very much for offering to help. If your friends in Connecticut and Rhode Island might be willing and able to help (these are traumatized, older cats), by all means they are close enough!

I've received other very generous offers of help; when someone includes a private contact, I don't publish the comment, since I can't be sure they want their information shared with the world. But thank you, and if you would like your comment published, I'm happy to do so.

September 06, 2007 1:03 AM  
Blogger Bhaswati said...

So sorry to hear about this sudden loss, WA. That's heart wrenching. I sure hope you find some solution for the cats soon.

Hugs and best wishes. Please take care of yourself and your wife. :)

September 06, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger Miss Kitty said...

No problem about my comment being published, WA; that's my blog-only e-mail on there. :-)

Still, many hugs and prayers to you, your family, and Jim's kitties.

September 06, 2007 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Miss Kitty said...

God bless you, WA.

In the most extreme of cases, if nothing else can be done...I will foster your friend's cats, even though Georgia is a long way from New England. He was good to you, and I volunteer to help you be good to his faithful feline companions, who are most certainly grieving for their "dad."

Shoot me an e-mail: misskitty_ep(AT)bellsouth.net.

September 07, 2007 2:05 AM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Miss Kitty;

In my zombie-like state, I started to publish your original comment, then cancelled. When I tried to publish it after discovering you didn't mind, it wouldn't publish.

So I hope you won't mind that I published the full text of your original comment under your name, so people could see your generous offer. God bless you!

September 07, 2007 2:07 AM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Update: to anyone worried about the cats, we have temporarily moved them. We brought them to my vet, who is a very good one, and they will be boarded there and given thorough checkups.

Julius is grieving; in the apartment, he went to the window to look out to see if Jim was coming, wandered aimlessly about, or lay with his head down but eyes open.

Max is grieving but also terrified. Before he came to Jim he'd been abused, and this has been a terrifying experience for him.

What is tearing me apart right now is this: there seems to be a good chance (yet to be confirmed by blood tests) that Julius has either kidney disease or diabetes. I will know more tomorrow.

September 07, 2007 2:13 AM  
Blogger RomanceWriter said...

So sorry to hear Julius may be sick. You stay in my thoughts, friend.

Hugs,

Sara

September 07, 2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Just Jen said...

I'm sorry. I would so love to take those two cats but I'm sure a trip on a plane to Canada, isn't a good idea. I sure hope you find a home for them. Someone who will love them as much as your dear friend and yourself. With love and prayers.

September 09, 2007 1:30 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Oh, blessings on all ofyou during this time. It's hard loss for you and the kitties as well. I'll be thinking of you all, bipedal and quadripedal.

September 10, 2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger Miss Kitty said...

Oh, my. Poor Julius, poor Max. You, your wife, and the two sweet kitties are in my thoughts and prayers, WA.

September 10, 2007 10:11 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

There is no exception. What we know of life can change in an instant. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss.








If you have a chance I'd appreciate you having a look at my tribute to Thomas Richard Kelly.

September 11, 2007 11:19 PM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

i hope things get better for you soon!!

sounds like you have had such a difficult time and im so sorry for that.. take care ok

September 14, 2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Just Jen said...

Just checkin' in to see how you're doin! I hope all is well and fall has brought cooler weather where you are. It's cooled down here but the heat is rising again this week. Everyone in this house has influenza, 8 ppl, not enough kleenex...lol
Hope you're doing well and I'm still looking forward to your return!

September 19, 2007 7:47 AM  
Blogger Shameless said...

Sorry to hear that you've been having a difficult time. I hope things turn out OK. If you need a writing distraction, check out the new writing project up at The Shameless Lions Writing Circle site. Take care.

September 23, 2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger Just Jen said...

how've ya been? I hope you're alright.

October 03, 2007 9:10 AM  
Blogger The Crazy King of Clowns said...

Hi! This is one hell of a blog! Could we exchange links?

My blog is - Infinitely CRAZY

Please do leave me a comment after linking to me(if you agree to the exchange, of course)

Thanks!
:)

October 03, 2007 7:41 PM  
Blogger RomanceWriter said...

Stopping in again to check on you. Hope all is well.

Sara

October 04, 2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous suzan abrams said...

Hello again Ray,
Hope you're well. :-)
I haven't been able to get into my new Blogger dashboard for 2 days and so have returned to Behind the Curtain.
Sorry for all this messing about, Ray.

October 06, 2007 7:16 AM  
Blogger Bhaswati said...

I hope you are doing well, WA. Dropped in to see how things were with you. Best wishes. :)

October 06, 2007 10:50 PM  
Blogger Just Jen said...

How are you doing? How's the book, child without a voice, doing? How are you feeling? The silence is frightening...
Hoping all is well and you're just on a little vacation....

October 21, 2007 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Moof said...

Where are you? This is beginning to worry us ...

October 22, 2007 1:33 AM  

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